APICHA Programs Update
January/February 2010 Edition
Editor-In-Chief: Jonathan Chang
Editorial Committee: Jennifer Chung, Diana Lieu, Zaheer Mustafa, Malvin Vien
1/1 – New Year’s Day (agency closed)
1/8* – EquAsian meeting
1/15-1/17* – Street SMART (entire weekend, 15th: 5-9pm, 16th: 12-7pm, 17th: 12-7pm)
1/18 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (agency closed)
1/19** – Project Connect Workshop, “10 Things Lesbian, Gay and Trans Persons Should Ask Their Doctor” (speaker: Dr. Murayama, APICHA’s Chief Medical Officer; 7pm)
1/22* – EquAsian meeting
1/23** – LGBTQ A&PI Youth Mentorship (GAYME), “Mental Health & Stress” (3-5pm)
1/29* – EquAsian meeting
2/5* - EquAsian meeting
2/12 – Lunar New Year (agency closed)
2/15 – Presidents’ Day (agency closed)
2/19* – EquAsian meeting
2/26* – EquAsian meeting
Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at APICHA.
*Open to 24-and-under gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning A&PI men. Please email email@example.com for times and to RSVP.
**Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
Medical Home: Client-Centered Care
by Jarron Magallanes, LGBT Program Manager, with contributions from Mihaela Mihai, Clinic Manager; Zaheer Mustafa, MSM Project Coordinator; and Venus Vacharakitja, Associate Director of Client Services
The following article is split into several sections to illustrate how our clients are able to quickly access necessary services through our “one-stop-shop” model. APICHA houses many programs vital to our community, eliminating the hassle and confusion of navigating services. Please note that names and other identifying information have been changed to protect our clients’ privacy.
LGBT Program (Prevention)
In November, Zaheer Mustafa, Project Coordinator for gay men’s services, enrolled an Asian man, “David,” to receive program services. Zaheer found David during Internet outreach and introduced himself. David agreed to meet with Zaheer for weekly counseling, and after several weeks of meeting, David began to feel more comfortable talking to Zaheer about his sex practices. For him, this was the first time a professional had asked questions relevant to him as a gay Asian man. Zaheer worked with David to develop short and long-term goals for reducing his HIV risk. At one of their sessions, David admitted that he had met a younger Asian man, “Jimmy,” online, and they were now in a relationship. Not knowing much about the younger man’s past, Zaheer encouraged David to bring Jimmy in for HIV testing before engaging in unprotected sex, which both men wanted.
Counseling, Testing & Referrals (CTR)
A week later, David and Jimmy came into APICHA for HIV testing. David was tested first, and the results came back negative. When testing Jimmy, Zaheer received language interpretation assistance from a bilingual Client Services staff member as Jimmy speaks no English. Jimmy tested positive for HIV antibodies, so Zaheer and bilingual staff conducted post-test counseling, offered emotional support, and educated Jimmy on his options for accessing HIV medical care, assuming the confirmatory test came back positive. He was also informed about the different ways he could tell his partner his status. Zaheer asked Jimmy if he felt safe telling his partner his status in-person. After a screening ruled out possible domestic violence, Zaheer encouraged Jimmy to tell David immediately since they had engaged in high-risk sex over the past 3 days.
Jimmy told David of his provisional HIV-positive diagnosis before taking the confirmatory test. Since there had been high-risk sexual activity over the past 3 days, Zaheer accompanied David to the emergency room to access emergency post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), a month-long treatment which has been associated with a decrease in risk for acquiring HIV if taken within a 48-72 hour timeframe.
The next step was to have Jimmy take a confirmatory test. Initially, Jimmy was unwilling to have this test performed because he was more comfortable with the idea of not knowing. After a CTR staff member explained that early diagnosis and treatment would enable him to live a longer and healthier life, Jimmy decided to take the confirmatory test.
Case Management (Client Services)
A bilingual medical case manager supported Jimmy in the following days while he waited for the test results. They developed a close worker-client relationship, partially because they share the same language, and Jimmy started calling her his “big sister.” When the test results became available, Jimmy did not come in immediately and postponed his appointment. The case manager reiterated the importance of receiving the test results and re-educated him on basic HIV information. Jimmy showed up two days later.
The test ultimately confirmed Jimmy’s HIV-positive status. The case manager assisted Jimmy in applying for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program PLUS (ADAP PLUS) to ensure access to medication and care, and she will continue to advocate for Jimmy and find services available to him.
Primary Care (Clinic)
Following the advice of his case manager to obtain medical care as soon as possible, Jimmy decided to receive medical care at APICHA from an HIV specialist as well as access case management, nutrition, mental health, and acupuncture services. During the first medical visit, Jimmy repeatedly asked the medical provider, “How soon am I going to die?” He was unconvinced that he could live a long and healthy life. The provider responded, “I will probably die before you do.” Only then did he start believing that his HIV infection was not a death sentence. With the help of the case manager, the medical provider spent additional time educating Jimmy about HIV infection and explained to him that HIV could be successfully managed as long as he was involved in his medical care.
While accompanying his partner to his medical appointments, David witnessed the caring, respectful, and friendly atmosphere at APICHA. When he heard that primary medical care was also offered to gay Asian men who were HIV negative, he decided to enroll as a patient. David also shared with clinic staff that his previous doctor didn’t talk to him about any sexual topics. It has meant a lot to David to receive medical care at APICHA since he is now able to openly discuss sex-related information in a safe, nonjudgmental space.
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:30am-5:30pm
Clinic Hours: M/T/F: 9:30am-5:30pm, W/Th: 9:30am-7pm
HIV Testing Hours: M/T/Th/F: 10:30am-5:30pm, W: 1:30pm-7:30pm
To make an appointment for testing, please call Infoline: 866-APICHA9 (866-274-2429)
To make an appointment for medical care, call: 212-334-6029
To support APICHA and our initiatives, please visit: www.apicha.org/contribute
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ABOUT ASIAN & PACIFIC ISLANDER COALITION ON HIV/AIDS, INC.
Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Inc. (APICHA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 located in New York City. APICHA’s mission is to combat HIV/AIDS stigma and related discrimination, to prevent the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the Asian and Pacific Islander (A&PI) communities, and to provide care and treatment for A&PIs living with HIV/AIDS and their families. For more information, visit: www.apicha.org.